Among a myriad of many other attributions, eulogies and appraisals, South Africa-based Zimbabwean best-selling author Sue Nyathi has been described as “a powerful literary force” that “exquisitely captures the complexities of family, culture and the societal constructs that surround women”.
Eloquent, evocative and utterly engrossing, she prides herself on being “intentional about provoking empathy” in her writing.
Born on the 23rd of June 1978 in Bulawayo, it was during her time at Carmel Primary School where her inclination towards writing showed. Merely at 10, she would cut out pictures from magazines and write short excerpts about the things she saw in those pictures, well before memeing was a thing. Her writing would, however, take roots in her secondary school years. Her biography states that she was 13 when she penned her first novel titled “Crazy Over You” inspired by the Sweet Valley High series that she was reading. Despite her propensity for fictional prose, High school swindles her into poetry and she even took part in poetry competitions for which she won several accolades.
On completing my Cambridge A-Levels, Sue would pursue a degree and masters in Finance at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) upon reckoning that several Zimbabwean institutions of higher learning were not offering journalism then. To date, she boasts a career that spans over 10 years in finance and investments, and over 5 years in economic development consulting.
A multi-faceted, multi-focal individual who has mastered the magic of balancing the two disparate worlds of literature and finance, Sue said her day job never stifled her creativity as she continues to write to escape the drudgery of economic shop talk and financial markets.
Sue had a freelance stint at the Sunday Mail, where she was writing for the ‘Steaming Off’ column. She describes the column as “something akin to the Carrie Jones column in ‘Sex and the City’” as many of her pieces on love and relationships were popularly received.
“I got a lot of responses through my email as total strangers poured out their hearts to me about personal ordeals they were going through. Some merely posted suggestions that I should write a book. By this time I had written several books, none of which have been published. #AFamilyAffair is one such manuscript which finally saw the light of day in 2020,” she said.
In 2008, Sue relocated to Johannesburg, the same time when her characters in The Gold Diggers (Pan Macmillan, 2018) embarked on the journey to South Africa. Her move there, she said, precipitated her to pursue getting published more vigorously because South Africa offers a more vibrant literary and publishing. As such, she was able to publish her debut novel, The Polygamist (Logogog) in 2012, marking the beginning of her journey as a published writer.
Currently unemployed, Sue now has the luxury of writing every day, dedicating five hours to the craft. She said plans to redevelop a lot of her older manuscripts in the coming years.
Editorial: This month, #enthuse, through our #SheCreatesMarch feature series, celebrates the work of thirty-one Zimbabwean women creatives, the contributions and achievements they have made throughout history, culture, and society. The idea is to elevate visibility for commercial projects and commissions. Discover the work of avant-garde creatives who embody the spirit of the month by uplifting and empowering women. Representing diverse backgrounds and disciplines, these women share one thing in common: their dedication to supporting women and sharing their stories through art and creativity. We are thrilled to share their work. And this month is about them. #ChooseToChallenge